13 May 2016 On noise in time-delay integration CMOS image sensors
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Abstract
Time delay integration sensors are of increasing interest in CMOS processes owing to their low cost, power and ability to integrate with other circuit readout blocks. This paper presents an analysis of the noise contributors in current day CMOS Time-Delay-Integration image sensors with various readout architectures. An analysis of charge versus voltage domain readout modes is presented, followed by a noise classification of the existing Analog Accumulator Readout (AAR) and Digital Accumulator Readout (DAR) schemes for TDI imaging. The analysis and classification of existing readout schemes include, pipelined charge transfer, buffered direct injection, voltage as well as current-mode analog accumulators and all-digital accumulator techniques. Time-Delay-Integration imaging modes in CMOS processes typically use an N-number of readout steps, equivalent to the number of TDI pixel stages. In CMOS TDI sensors, where voltage domain readout is used, the requirements over speed and noise of the ADC readout chain are increased due to accumulation of the dominant voltage readout and ADC noise with every stage N. Until this day, the latter is the primary reason for a leap-back of CMOS TDI sensors as compared to their CCD counterparts. Moreover, most commercial CMOS TDI implementations are still based on a charge-domain readout, mimicking a CCD-like operation mode. Thus, having a good understanding of each noise contributor in the signal chain, as well as its magnitude in different readout architectures, is vital for the design of future generation low-noise CMOS TDI image sensors based on a voltage domain readout. This paper gives a quantitative classification of all major noise sources for all popular implementations in the literature.
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Deyan Levski, Bhaskar Choubey, "On noise in time-delay integration CMOS image sensors", Proc. SPIE 9891, Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits V, 989122 (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2227320; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2227320
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